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T-Mobile US claims first nationwide NB-IoT plan

Disruptive US operator T-Mobile US reckons it’s turning the domestic IoT market on its head by significantly undercutting its competitors.

This is, of course, what TMUS does – undercut the competition then shove some kind of populist, Robin Hood narrative down everyone’s throat. In this case the company has gone all in on NB-IoT technology and has used it to launch an IoT plan that costs $6 per year, which it says is a tenth of the price of Verizon’s Cat-M-based plans.

“The number of connected devices already outnumbers the worldwide population, and it’s only getting bigger,” said Mike Sievert, COO of T-Mobile. “So, of course, T-Mobile is taking advantage of the latest IoT tech to make it simpler – and massively more affordable – for businesses and cities to connect things. Launching Narrowband IoT is a giant step toward 5G IoT, and naturally, T-Mobile is leading the way!”

Not quite the bombastic level of his boss, but a decent effort. The release goes on to explain how much better NB-IoT is than anything else, not least because it provides a pathway to 5G. TMUS says NB-IoT is also intrinsically more cost-effective than Cat-M.

“Because it can operate in guard bands – the network equivalent of driving down the shoulders on the highway — NB-IoT carries data with greater efficiency and performance and doesn’t compete with other data traffic for network resources,” says the press release.

This headline offering is actually a time-limited price promotion, so the comparative claims need to be taken with a pinch of salt. $6 per year is per device and caps the data at 12 MB before, presumably, further charges kick in. Also, having said how rubbish Cat-M is compared to NB-IoT, TMUS is nonetheless going to launch some Cat-M stuff too. Go figure.

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